It has been announced that former Joshi star Rumi Kazama has passed away suddenly at the age of 55 according to Tokyo Sport. Kazama was active through the late 80s and 90s competing on behalf of Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling (LLPW) during the inter-promotional wars of the 90s. While Kazama isn’t the kind of wrestler who has received much acclaim from the wider wrestling audience, those who watched her know of her obvious talent.
Rumi Kazama began her career with JWP, the original iteration of JWP, after competing in kickboxing where she participated in some magazine modeling and became a popular model/kickboxer. Kazama was pushed very well from the beginning in JWP and although she never won a championship in the group she was a featured member of the roster. The success of JWP and its group of talent can’t be understated as their ability to survive and grow helped to break the monopoly that All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling (AJW) held over women’s wrestling in Japan at the time.
— Roy 🌱 (@narukiroy) May 22, 2020
In 1992 there was a split in JWP that lead to the creation of two separate groups, JWP and LLPW. Rumi Kazama went to LLPW alongside talents like Shinobu Kandori, Harley Saito, and Eagle Sawai and even served as the company president, making her possibly the first active performer to also be the president of her own company at the same time. From then on Kazama regularly represented LLPW in the inter-promotional wars, which allowed her to compete on the iconic Dream Slam event. She also played a part in the legendary Shinobu Kandori vs Akira Hokuto feud as she lost a hair vs hair match against Hokuto in the lead up to the second Kandori/Hokuto match to reignite the tension between the two.
— Jushin🌸Libre (@DdtShaggy) November 9, 2020
In the lead up to her retirement Kazama was a member of the nefarious Black Joker group which included Sawai and Takako Inoue, the heel group had a presence in a number of companies at the time. In August of 2003, Rumi Kazama retired putting an end to her 17-year career.
Kazama, unfortunately, passed away in September 2021. The Joshi world has been quick to mourn the passing of a loved and respected star.
— ロッシー小川 Rossy Stardom (@rossystardom) September 22, 2021
— 赤井沙希 (@SakiAkai) September 22, 2021